Lulu Kennedy’s Closet Is an Ode to Quirky British Designers

The fashion director of Fashion East and Love magazine editor-at-large is a true champion of UK fashion. London.

Photography: Jake Rosenberg

Four years ago we released The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style, our book exploring the homes and wardrobes of some of the world’s brightest fashion luminaries. A handful of the stunning closets from the time have never been published online—until now. Today we’re taking it back to October 2015, when we had the pleasure of shooting with Lulu Kennedy, director of Fashion East and editor-at-large for Love magazine, in her East London flat.

 

Since founding Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy helped to explode the careers of some of London’s most exciting designers, from JW Anderson and Jonathan Saunders to Roksanda Ilincic and House of Holland. Think of her as the fairy godmother of English fashion. This is what we love about the English: They respect fashion as an industry worth rewarding. See the honors given by the Most Excellent British Empire (chew on that) to people like Stella McCartney, Natalie Massenet, Christopher Kane, and Phoebe Philo. A name you might not recognize as belonging to the same club, however, that is suffixed with an MBE, is Lulu Kennedy. It might be true that she doesn’t get the same spotlight afforded to her designer cohorts—but there’s a good chance she put them in that spotlight. Let us explain: Kennedy is one of those behind-the-scenes mavericks that everyone in fashion knows (or at the very least, knows of) and admires—see her close working relationship with the likes of Love’s Katie Grand, where Kennedy serves as editor-at-large. And yet, she remains largely unknown outside the industry despite the fact that, through her non-profit, Fashion East, she’s helped to build some of the country’s most celebrated labels. And you get the feeling, when you visit her at her flat just around the corner from London’s fabled Brick Lane, that she likes it that way.

When we finally got down to the business of going through her closet, we quickly realized that Kennedy is a woman who practices what she preaches—as in she supports and wears the myriad of designers she’s triumphed. Like Simone Rocha (neon yellow lace blouse), Bella Freud (tongue-in-cheek candles), House of Holland (cheeky sunglasses, natch), and Roksanda Ilincic (matching frocks for herself and her daughter, Rainbow—who, by the way, is no doubt the coolest kid in the playground). And as you might expect from someone who deals almost exclusively in English-ness (not that she doesn’t also have a soft spot for Louboutins and Louis Vuitton), her style reads resoundingly eccentric. The fact is, we couldn’t imagine it any other way. Especially when you consider her roots: growing up in Ibiza, working the ’90s rave circuit in Italy, and then arriving in London to work at a vintage store, all before founding Fashion East in 2000.

And since then, Kennedy’s essentially been given credit for making London Fashion Week a major force again, pushing all that young, exciting, and, yes, eccentric talent into the spotlight. We might as well say it: She’s the one responsible for making us fall in love with the English to begin with.

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